A Digital Future Powered By Mythological Gods: God Complex #1

by Brendan M. Allen

In the futuristic city of Delphi, a young digital-forensics investigator named Seneca finds himself embroiled in the bizarre murders of three church acolytes. Guided by his cryptic mentor, the Ruler named Hermes, Seneca uncovers a stunning conspiracy and a mystery that will turn his entire world upside down. From writer PAUL JENKINS (Inhumans, Wolverine: Origin) and artist HENDRY PRASETYA (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) comes a unique vision of a digital future powered by mythological gods.

If CSI: Las Vegas has taught me anything, it’s that a rained out crime scene is a ruined crime scene. God Complex #1 opens on just such a ruined crime scene. A detective named Seneca is investigating the homicide of three Trinity acolytes posed on the street in the pouring rain. There’s absolutely no useful evidence. No blood spatter, no footprints, and, since these religious fanatics don’t use tech in an all-tech world, no digital trail. Hermes, one of the Rulers, arrives on scene and takes Seneca on as a protégé, exposing him to sub levels of reality and the tech that runs God Complex’s universe.

Paul Jenkins makes good use of the neo-noir (steampunk-neo-fantasy-noir?) genre to reel readers in. Seneca’s internal monologue is our narrative guide through this opening chapter. Seneca’s internal monologue is a little scattered, a little cynical, and talks to him in third person. You get used to it.

“The people here scurry about, pretending they have a purpose. But they’re rats, looking for the next source of sustenance before their ship sinks. They find a little food, or a little comfort, they exhaust it and move on.”

If only for the amazing artwork, God Complex would be worth the price of admission. Hendry Prasetya and Jessica Kholinne work well together to deliver a powerful aesthetic. The opening sequence takes place outdoors, in the rain. Prasetya uses angles and perspective to brilliantly pace three separate reveals in the same scene. Kholinne’s color sells incredible urban scenes in the reflective skins of puddles in the rain.

My initial thoughts about God Complex were comparisons to The Matrix and Dark City, with some DaVinci Code thrown in for good measure. By the end of this chapter, I was also picking up some Stargate vibes. I’m interested to see where the chapter’s cliffhanger will pick up in chapter two.

God Complex #1, Image Comics, created by Brian Lie, written by Paul Jenkins, art by Hendry Prasetya, color by Jessica Kholinne, letters by Jaka Ady, cover by Isuardi Therianto.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It’s a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.